Health care costs in the U.S. are very expensive and could easily overwhelm an intern on a limited budget. Therefore, the U.S. Department of State and the State University of New York (SUNY) require all J-1 Exchange Visitors and their dependents in the U.S. to have sickness and accident insurance, and medical evacuation and repatriation insurance in effect for the duration of their Exchange Visitor status.
The health insurance plan for international students offered by SUNY meets the minimum coverage requirements. You will be required to enroll in and purchase this policy unless you can provide proof of comparable coverage through another plan.
If you have a University appointment, you may be enrolled in a health insurance plan as a benefit of your employment. The University will pay a portion of the cost for your (and your dependents’) coverage, but you will also be responsible for a portion of the cost. In addition, you will be required to purchase medical evacuation and repatriation coverage.
The Student Health Insurance Office manages your health insurance policy and coverage. For information about SUNY's health insurance plan for international students, please read the United Health Care Student Resources Member Guide. This insurance policy does not cover dental or vision care except in case of injury, except in certain cases of pediatric care as mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
The insurance premiums are determined annually. Refer to the Student Health Insurance website for current costs.
Complete the Enrollment Form for International Student Health Insurance, and submit it along with payment to UB's Student Health Insurance Office, 1Capen, North Campus.
You must purchase health insurance for your dependents. If your family does not accompany you, but plans to join you in the U.S. at a later date, health insurance must be purchased for them upon their arrival. The Dependent Medical Insurance Enrollment Form may be downloaded or picked up in UB's Student Health Insurance Office. You will then need to complete and mail it to the health insurance company.
If you wish to use a different health insurance plan, you must have your policy reviewed to make sure it meets and/or exceeds the U.S. Department of State's and SUNY's minimum requirements. You will only be permitted a waiver of the cost of the SUNY health insurance if your policy matches or exceeds SUNY minimum requirements and is approved by UB's Health Insurance Office.
SUNY requires you to have medical evacuation and repatriation insurance. Therefore, even if you are able to waive the basic SUNY health insurance, you will have to purchase the SUNY medical evacuation and repatriation insurance unless you already have such coverage. (Medical evacuation insurance pays for you to be transported to the nearest medical facility or your home country in case of serious illness or injury. Repatriation insurance pays for your remains to be transported to your home country in case of death.)
To have your policy reviewed, the first step is to complete the International Health Insurance Waiver Form. Then, your policy will be reviewed by the Student Health Insurance Office.
Have questions about COVID-19 testing with your health insurance through UB? Check out the SUNY International Health Insurance (UHC) Benefits Highlights.
Need more information? Visit the International Student Health Insurance website for details.
Find health insurance forms for international students here.